Budget 2014/15

 

No impact on sovereign ratings - S&P

Labourers work at the construction site of a multi-level parking in the Chandigarh July 10, 2014. REUTERS/Ajay Verma

Standard & Poor's said the budget would not have an impact on India's sovereign ratings until the agency could see how the measures will be implemented, especially regarding meeting the fiscal deficit target.  Full Article |  Highlights 

A boy sits on a cart in front of a solar power plant at Meerwada village of Guna district in Madhya Pradesh June 19, 2012.  REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files
Environment

Budget is "pro-corporate" - environmentalists

The government's budget shows no real commitment towards the environment because it does not allocate enough funds towards promoting renewable energy or public transport and appears to favour corporates over people, environmentalists said. The government said it would invest in very large solar power projects and establish a fund to help farmers adapt to changing weather patterns.  Full Article 

Narendra Modi waves towards supporters while flagging off vehicles with resource kits for collection of iron and soil to build "Statue of Unity", a 182-metre statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, in Ahmedabad December 28, 2013. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files
World's Tallest Statue

In the budget - $33 mln for world's tallest statue

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set aside $33 million of government money to help fund the construction of the world's tallest statue, a project close to the newly elected leader's heart. The bronze-and-iron statue - which aims to be twice the height of the Statue of Liberty at 182 metres - is to honour one of the country's founding fathers Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.  Full Article 

Tanks belongings to the Indian Army are displayed during the Army Day parade in New Delhi January 15, 2013. REUTERS/B Mathur/Files
Defence

India raises military spending by 12 percent

India boosted defence spending by 12 percent in 2014-15 over the previous year in the budget and further opened the domestic weapons industry to foreign investment to help rebuild the military and narrow the gap with China. India has been the world's top arms buyer for the last three years, trying to replace an ageing Soviet-era military with modern weapons as a deterrent to a rising China.  Full Article 

A man speaks on his mobile phone as he walks past logos of Vodafone painted on a roadside wall in Kolkata May 20, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

Vodafone to push ahead with Indian tax case

Britain's Vodafone said on Thursday it intended to push ahead with international arbitration in its long-running Indian tax dispute, after the government said it would set up a committee to review retrospective tax claims. Vodafone and India have been locked in a $2.2 billion tax standoff since the British company acquired Hutchison Whampoa's Indian mobile assets in 2007.  Full Article 

Customers use ATM machines at an ICICI Bank branch in Mumbai January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/Files
Analysing the Budget

Corporate winners and losers from budget

Increase in FDI cap in insurance sector to 49 percent from 26 percent will benefit companies such as ICICI Bank, Max India and HDFC that have insurance ventures with foreign partners. While a proposal to increase excise duty on cigarettes is negative for companies such as ITC and VST Industries. Here's a list of sectors/companies that will benefit or be impacted by budget proposals.  Full Article 

Stockbrokers monitor stock index numbers on their computer screens at a brokerage firm in Mumbai October 3, 2007. REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe/Files

Nifty edges lower in volatile trade after budget

The Sensex and Nifty edged lower in a volatile session on Thursday as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's pledge to narrow the fiscal deficit and open up sectors such as insurance and defence were offset by disappointment over the lack of major reforms.  Full Article 

A streetside restaurant owner keeps money received from a customer in Mumbai December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files
FDI in India

India to raise FDI limit in insurance sector

India's new government plans to nearly double the proportion of foreign investment allowed in the $60 billion insurance business to 49 percent, a potential lifeline for a sector starved of capital and squeezed by regulations.  Full Article 

A shop attendant displays gold necklaces for the camera at a jewellery shop in Hyderabad June 30, 2009. REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder/Files

India maintains gold import duty at 10 pct

India surprised bullion markets by keeping the import duty on gold and silver unchanged at 10 percent in its fiscal budget, a move likely to limit overseas purchases by the second-biggest bullion consumer and further encourage smuggling. Indian gold futures jumped 2 percent on Thursday.  Full Article 

Security personnel stand guard near sacks containing the papers of the federal budget for the 2014/15 fiscal year, at the parliament in New Delhi July 10, 2014. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Ground Report

Budget 2014: Reactions from the common man

“Decision to increase FDI in insurance is welcome. This means that more expertise will come into the sector, which is good for general insurance.” “Tax exemption limit has to be at least 500,000 rupees. Just 250,000 rupees is not fair to low-income employees”. India Insight spoke to people in New Delhi’s central business district for their thoughts on the budget:  Full Article 

Porters transport goods on a hand-pulled trolley to load onto a train at a railway station in Kolkata July 8, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
Rail Budget

India says private funds will help rail system

The govt disappointed markets with its first major economic policy statement, promising to seek foreign and private funding for the railways but giving no details.  Full Article | Factbox 

Labourers work at the construction site of a multi-level parking in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh July 10, REUTERS/Ajay Verma
Real Estate

India eases real estate trust listing rules

India paved the way for the stock market listing of real estate investment trusts (REITs) on Thursday in a move to boost foreign investment in the property sector that has been hit by slowing economic growth. India issued draft regulations for the listing of REITs in 2008, but was forced to shelve the plans after the global financial crisis dried up investor interest.  Full Article 

Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley (C) arrives to attend a meeting with the finance ministers of states on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) issues in New Delhi July 3, 2014. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A profile of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

A leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a member of the upper house of parliament since 2000, Arun Jaitley has held several ministerial posts since 1999. This is Jaitley's first stint as Finance Minister. He had served as Trade Minister and Law Minister more than a decade ago under the NDA government led by the BJP. Here's a profile of Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance and Defence.  Full Article 

Mukesh Agarwal

Budget strikes the right chord on reviving investment

Patient, consistent baseline play rather than aggressive serve and volley — that about sums up the new government’s maiden budget. Those expecting big bang announcements were left disappointed as the finance minister rattled off a long list of small steps. But the government is on the right track as it sets about the task of boosting investment and sentiment.  Full Article 

D H Pai Panandiker

Budget 2014 is only the first step

Much was expected from Budget 2014/15 without realizing that India’s economy has its own rhythm, which changes only by small degrees if left to itself. That is why big-ticket reforms are necessary to quicken the pace. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had reason to move forward with caution and make changes only at the fringes.  Full Article 

Gautam Chhaochharia

Budget 2014/15 reveals priorities, sets the stage

The new Narendra Modi government rides on a long wishlist of policies and reforms, with limited resources. Budget 2014/15, as expected, reveals the government’s priorities in the near and medium term. The inflation moderation imperative overshadows near-term headline growth desires, manifested in aggressive fiscal deficit targets, writes Gautam Chhaochharia.  Full Article 

E-Commerce

Rating Agencies React

In Pictures

Budget speeches